December in the Garden with David Williams

December signals the end of another year. It’s a time for parties and celebrations but let’s not forget the garden. It is surprising what there is to do at...

December signals the end of another year. It’s a time for parties and celebrations but let’s not forget the garden. It is surprising what there is to do at this time of year.

There is of course the never-ending task of sweeping up leaves and twigs that keep on blowing in from surrounding gardens and fields. It is always a good time however, to give the garden, especially the pavement outside your house, a sweep just before you have Christmas guests arrive.

December is still a good time to move plants around the garden if they have grown too big or the colours don’t match. Whether it is a shrub or perennial, they can now be safely moved. Get as big a root ball as you can and move them straight to their new position to give them the best possible start in their new home.

If you are planning on entering your local show next year then Boxing Day is the traditional day to sow your big onions. These will need sowing in a shallow pot or a small seed tray. On your window sill, or ideally in a heated greenhouse, sow them thinly into good quality seed compost, keeping them moist at all times. Once germinated prick them out into small individual pots again in good multi-purpose compost and grow on in as much light as possible.

And why not add some colour by your front door to give your visitors a colourful welcome to your home. Pots are a great way to do this. Try planting some up with cyclamen, violas and heather for example. You could even add a festive bow or some baubles to make them more Christmassy if you wish. You could even add some hanging baskets with lots of variegated ivy dangling over the edges and cyclamen and violas in the centre.

Don’t forget that to make the Christmas wreath for the front door you don’t have to use conifer and holly – any greenery you have in the garden can be used. You can get the wire frame from hobbies shops or florists or the traditional way is to bend some hazel or willow into a circle. Any leftover greenery that you have cut can be used to add a bit of greenery around the house such as above the fireplace or on window sills. 

Finally, why not get the whole family a present this Christmas with a family membership to the National Trust that offers a whole year’s worth of days out for you to all enjoy together.

Hope you all have a great Christmas